Feeds

'A proper British BOFFIN': Famous Martian prof Pillinger dies aged 70

Beagle 2 professor shuffles off this mortal coil

Build a business case: developing custom apps

British space scientist Professor Colin Pillinger has died at the age of 70, the BBC reports.

Prof Pillinger suffered a brain haemorrhage at his home in Cambridge, UK, and failed to recover from the resulting coma, passing away at the city's Addenbrooke's Hospital. His family described his death as "devastating and unbelievable".

Colin Pillinger at Jodrell Bank in 2009. Photo by Mike Peel

Colin Pillinger at Jodrell Bank in 2009. Photo by Mike Peel

Professor Pillinger will be best remembered for his ambitious and ill-fated Beagle 2 Mars shot back in 2003. The UK's attempt to search for life on the Red Planet hitched a ride on the European Space Agency's Mars Express Orbiter, but disappeared following separation from the mothership.

The professor started his career at NASA, examining Apollo 11 lunar samples. In Britain, he became planetary scientist at the Open University, and was awarded a CBE in 2003.

In tribute, Doctor Who writer Phil Ford described the prof as a "proper British boffin", and in that spirit we at The Register offer our own take on the good professor and Beagle 2, recorded back in 2006, right here. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.